In the heart of the village of Malveira da Serra at the foot of the Serra de Sintra in Portugal, the architect Pedro Quintela has transformed an old rural residence into a “hugging house”. The closed U-shaped house found in ruins with the small terrace used for agricultural purposes sparked an intimate call to the designer, who decided to buy the property and breathe life into it.
As the old apartment had been left behind as a “pile of stones”, the cleaning phase was crucial to the development of the entire project. The architect is always present and follows every step of his team of five to get to know the building better and to reveal every nook and cranny. He was also able to discover artifacts from the past, reinterpret them in his work and give them a new life.
Following a holistic approach, the architect has created a specific structure with identity, beauty, truth and value. The rejuvenation of the apartment is the result of the designer’s view of architecture as an evolutionary process that is linked in three phases: adaptation; Transformation and Crystallization. Through this process, the new structure is an authentic work while respecting the “spirit of the place”. In the specific case of this intervention, it can be said that the once small, confused and very compartmentalized “house in the form of an embrace” opened its arms to transform itself into a flowing, spacious, luminous and at the same time welcoming place.